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Huanqiu Commentary: Do Not Overestimate Personal Influence

On April 20, 2012, Huanqiu a daily tabloid under People’s Daily, a Communist Party paper, published a commentary titled, “Do Not Overestimate Personal Influence.” The commentary stated that there is a lesson to be learned from the Bo Xilai incident: that leaders shouldn’t overestimate their power and place themselves above the rules and the laws of the Party and the country. It also suggested that the theory that the West promotes, that there is “a power struggle between two factions,” could have the effect of making it difficult for social media to make judgments properly. Also, a small number of people might be misled.

The article said, “The Bo Xilai incident tells us that, in the current China, a leader should not overestimate his personal influence. Otherwise he might develop the urge to place himself above the rules and the laws of the Party and the country. For those who study China, if they do not understand this point, it could lead to a misperception and they will, therefore, be unable to make an accurate judgment about this country.”

The commentary further explained that no matter how much personal influence or how high the person’s position, it will not result in an exemption from punishment. “Very few of those who hold a high rank or power have obviously misunderstood this or intended to take the chance.”

The article recognized the achievements of Chongqing in the past few years and stated that it has always been viewed as a separate issue from the investigation into Bo’s case: “The achievements were inseparable from the precise directions given by the central administration and the effort made by the people of Chongqing.”

The article suggested that some people in the West tried to promote the theory that there was a “power struggle between two factions,” and some people in China even agreed with it. Other than those who have “ulterior motives,” many have overestimated the effect of personal influence on China’s politics; this theory might mislead people in judging the Bo Xilai incident.

Source: Huanqiu, April 20, 2012